Mahomes v. Brady

Who will lead their team to win Super Bowl LV?

Lily Wichert, Copy Editor

With Super Bowl LV just around the corner, teachers at Bellefonte High are setting their predictions regarding which team will win: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the Kansas City Chiefs. 

With the showdown between 43 year-old Tom Brady, quarterback of the Bucs, and 25 year-old Patrick Mahomes, quarterback of the Chiefs, America will be closely watching to answer one question: will Brady take the Vince Lombardi Trophy at his tenth Super Bowl appearance, or are Mahome’s abilities unbeatable? 

Biology and AP Biology teacher Mr. Christopher Freidhoff will be watching the game on Sunday night, in hopes of the Chiefs dominating the Bucs. 

“I am rooting for the Chiefs, because I don’t like Tom Brady,” Mr. Freidhoff said.

With the game being closely matched, Mr. Freidhoff is most looking forward to any “unique plays” that will make the Super Bowl interesting to watch. If he had to choose, Mr. Freidhoff explains that he predicts the Kansas City Chiefs to win 24-21 in a high-scoring game, as the Chiefs are ever so slightly more “young and hungry” than the Buccaneers. Although football is exciting to watch, for Mr. Freidhoff, he most enjoys watching the commercials that air throughout the game. 

Mr. Freidhoff’s Pick: Chiefs 

English teacher Mrs. Anne Maddox agrees with Mr. Freidhoff’s Super Bowl predictions. She hopes to see Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs lead his team to their third Super Bowl win, following their latest being last year. 

“Tom Brady has had his chance,” Mrs. Maddox said. “Let [the Chiefs] enjoy.”

With a historic football showdown between young and old talent ahead of us, Mrs. Maddox looks forward to this game, as “it’s more relaxing” to watch, compared to when a local and favorite team makes it to the Super Bowl. With the game strictly being about talent, the pressure for one team to win is not that high for Mrs. Maddox this year.

Mrs. Maddox’s Pick: Chiefs 

Mr. Andrew Caruso is the new Dean of Students, and loves watching various types of sporting events, with his favorite sport being baseball. As the Chiefs seem to be favorited by teachers throughout Bellefonte High, Mr. Caruso will be rooting for Tampa Bay in this year’s game.

“I think it will be a close game,” Mr. Caruso said. “It’s almost a toss-up. The Buccaneers are really good, and have gotten a lot better as the year has gone on. Hopefully, Tampa Bay will win.”

With both teams having a strong lineup on both sides of the ball, Mr. Caruso is still rooting for the Buccaneers to outperform the Kansas City Chiefs, giving Tom Brady his seventh Super Bowl win – more than any other player has accumulated in the NFL. 

“I think [Tampa Bay’s] defense is very good, and I like their balanced offense and targets, including Antonio Brown,” Mr. Caruso said. 

Mr. Caruso’s Pick: Buccaneers  

Likewise, Mr. Edward Fitzgerald, AP Government and Politics teacher, is hoping to see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take the win this year. Although he is not a huge sports fan, Mr. Fitzgerald has different reasons for cheering on this team.

“Some of us are not very sports-oriented, however, considering the two teams, from an inappropriate perspective, I am choosing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers,” Mr. Fitzgerald said. “I don’t appreciate what the team and team owner of Kansas City does in regards to cultural appropriation of native indigenous people.”

And Mr. Fitzgerald is not alone in this belief. In fact, fans of the NFL have demanded for this name to change more this year than ever before, after the Washington Football Team showed fans their respect for all cultures, after changing their name from the “Redskins.” Although fans have exclaimed their hopes of the Chiefs exploring renaming options, it seems that the owners have limited interest in doing so. 

“It’s the portrayal [of] the uncivilized kind of perception and stereotype that has unfairly lingered around Indian [countries] for a really long time,” Kevin Allis, who is the CEO of the National Congress of American Indians, stated in a Jerusalem Post article.

Mr. Fitzgerald’s Pick: Buccaneers 

World Cultures and Alternative Education teacher Mr. Christopher Krupp will be rooting for the Chiefs to win Super Bowl LV. 

“Both teams have good defensive fronts, but when you look at the two quarterbacks, and what their strategic weapons are, I’m cheering for Kansas City,” Mr. Krupp said. “Patrick Mahomes, at this point in his career, can do more than Tom Brady can.”

Regarding the game itself, Mr. Krupp is most looking forward to watching both teams’ performances. 

“These are two very good teams. I’m looking forward to seeing a good football game, as opposed to some of the games we saw in the ‘80s and ‘90s where [the scores] were 56-14,” Mr. Krupp said.

Mr. Krupp’s Pick: Chiefs

Government teacher Dr. Matthew Martin is a football fanatic, and can even recall watching Tom Brady in his early career. In 1999, when Brady beat Penn State as Michigan’s quarterback, Dr. Martin began observing Tom Brady for what he really is. 

“At the time, he wasn’t even the starting quarterback,” Dr. Martin said. “He is even better now than then. Brady’s potential wasn’t discovered until he was a professional.”

As far as the Super Bowl, Dr. Martin predicts that the Kansas City Chiefs will dominate the field. 

“I think that Andy Reid is an offensive genius because of the way their offense is indefensible in the way they distribute the ball,” Dr. Martin said. 

Andy Reid is the head coach of the Chiefs, and is credited with strengthening the team significantly within recent years. 

With the Chiefs having one of the most impressive offensive lineups in the NFL this year, Dr. Martin is looking forward to watching how Tampa Bay’s defense will handle this matchup. 

“The thing that impressed me about Patrick Mahomes is how he has extended plays, he is explosive, and sees the whole field while he is running. That is what makes the offense so well,” Dr. Martin said.  “If you watch Kansas City’s last game, they are fearless play callers. They go for the right plays at the right time – it’s a well oiled machine.”

Being a huge football fan, Dr. Martin can’t help but think back to the 1989 San Francisco 49ers, who had the “most dominant field” that he has seen offensively. The 49ers played the Cincinatti Bengals in Super Bowl XXII, and showed pure talent on the offensive side of the ball. When it comes to Super Bowl LV, Dr. Martin feels confident in his predictions.

“Both teams have the newer offense that the rest of the league hasn’t caught up with yet. It took the league years to figure out how to stop that,” Dr. Martin said. “Right now, Tampa Bay’s defense is trying to evolve to figure out how to stop Andy Reid’s offense. Tampa’s defense is not capable of stopping the Chiefs offense- not for four quarters.”

Regardless of the matchup, Dr. Martin will be closely watching Sunday Night’s game, in hopes of Tom Brady leading the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl win.

“I want Tampa to win because I want Brady to prove that there’s still room for an old man in a young man’s game,” Dr. Martin said. 

Dr. Martin’s Pick: Buccaneers 

Dr. Martin has a friend, Matt Miller, who coaches high school football at Gulf Breeze High School in Florida. After meeting at Lock Haven, Dr. Martin and Coach Miller bonded over their love for football. Mr. Miller was the quarterback of his own high school football team in Cameron County, Pennsylvania, and shares Dr. Martin’s love for the sport. 

Before the team was well-recognized, Coach Miller predicted that the Chiefs would soon become one of the best teams in the NFL. Sure enough, Dr. Miller’s longtime friend proved to be right, as the Chiefs, led by young talent, will take on the Super Bowl for the second consecutive year. Coming from a football background, Coach Miller has insightful predictions regarding Kansas City and their explosive offense. 

“Kansas City runs out of the shotgun formation with a pistol back. Tyreke Hill (Chief’s Wide Receiver) and the other slot receiver can also be like additional ‘running backs,’” Mr. Miller said. 

Mr. Miller describes that the Kansas City Chiefs run schemes based on successful “wishbone” offense, most notably recognized in the league during the 1970s. 

  “Andy Reid has basically recreated the old wishbone offense out of the shotgun. it’s a mix of a 1970’s schemed offense (The Wishbone) with a lot of the modern reads being integrated into it. Out of this offense, Mahomes is able to run RPOs (Run-Pass Options) with three screen options,” Mr. Miller said. 

In order to stop the explosive Kansas City Chiefs offensively, Mr. Miller hopes to see Tampa Bay run plays called a dime package; this allows a team’s defensive line to provide six defensive backs on the field, increasing a team’s chances of stopping the opposing team’s passing game. 

Offensively, Mr. Miller predicts that Tampa Bay will be reading the defense throughout the game, adn attacking any of the Chief’s weaknesses. With this, Mr. Miller expects a lot of crossing routes. 

With the Super Bowl and its traditions looking a little different this year, American fans of football will be closely watching this year’s showdown to answer one common question- who will win?